Sir William Worsley is new FC Chair

3 February 2020

Confor has welcomed the appointment of Sir William Worsley as the new Chair of the Forestry Commission.

Sir William will step down as the government’s Tree Champion, a position he has held since June 2018, when he takes on his new role on 10th February.

He succeeds Sir Harry Studholme, who has been Chair of the Commission for seven years.

Stuart Goodall, Confor chief executive, said "I have known Sir William for many years and served with him on the Independent Panel that was established under Bishop James Jones to advise the UK Government. Sir William has long experience in both managing forestry as part of his estate and in working with ministers.” 

He added: “This is an exciting time for forestry in England with considerable political interest in driving up tree planting as well as managing more woodland and using more home-grown wood as part of the fight against climate change. I look forward to working with Sir William on these and other important matters". 

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers confirmed Sir William’s appointment today.

She said: "With his great expertise in forestry and passion for nature and trees, Sir William will play a pivotal role in leading the Forestry Commission at a critical time as it moves into its second century.

"Tree planting will play a crucial part in the government’s bold action to combat climate change, and the Forestry Commission has a vital role in delivering our ambitious plans for England’s forests and woodlands.”

Confor’s National Manager for England, Caroline Ayre, said:  “On behalf of Confor, I would like to thank Sir Harry for the expertise and advocacy he has brought to the sector. He will be missed by many.”